Spring 2008, Volume 4

Poetry by Phuong Thao Le

California Winter

I breathe a steam when out the door
The ground is fresh like cleaning floor.
It's dry enough for my first walk
I start my day in my warm coat.

Stiff branches stand against grey sky
I stroll under thick-leafy evergreens.
Lemons, oranges and tangerines
Clinging to trees along sides of street.

Temperature goes up with the sunrise
The song of larks somewhere in park;
All birds don't need to immigrate
Their wings relax for two, long trips.

I saw people moving nearer They talk gaily to each other: A black hand on white woman's shoulder And a white man jumps around, following two Spanish girls.

BIO:  "I was born and grew up in the center of Viet Nam. I was fond of poetry in my early days. In my high-school time, I read and memorized several Chinese, French, and almost all Vietnamese famous poems of the 19th and 20th centuries. I might be influenced by the romantic trend of French poetry as many of my classmates at that time. After high school, I moved to Saigon and graduated from the School of Pharmacy in Saigon in 1965. I immigrated to the USA with my husband and four children in 1992 and have been living in California since then. After passing the equivalency of Pharmacy degree, I realized that at my age I couldn't get any good job in this challenging country. I didn't take the license to practice my former career. I decided to stay home to help my children to catch up their goals instead of mine. I also knew that I could study English to adapt easily the new life and teach my grandchildren about their root in the future. At LBCC, I took classes from the beginning to higher level (from ESL classes to English 1, 3 and so on to go to English 27.) When I learned from Professor Gaspar, I know I found my right choice. I've attended his class semester after semester. I would like to participate in any poetry or novel activity so that I can learn more to shorten the gap between my American friends and me. That is why here is my contribution for Verdad. Thanks for accepting me as a friend."